Verizon 2017 DBIR: Key Takeaways

Summary The 2017 DBIR is an essential read for organizational leaders, cybersecurity practitioners and security industry professionals. The report provides clear information that helps cyber security practitioners and executives devise strategy, and implement tactical responses to the cyber battlefield of today. In this year’s 10th publication of Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report, data from nearly 2,000 confirmed breaches were submitted by IT professionals and analyzed by Verizon security experts. In the report, 88% (up from last year’s 83%)  of incidents fall into same industry categories (up from last year’s 83%) that were first identified in the 2014 report. These attacks…

Password Vaults Alone Are Not Enough to Stop the Breach

A recent Forrester study examined four levels of identity and access management (IAM) maturity and found a direct correlation between the number of privileged identity management (PIM) best practices implemented and the number of security incidents encountered by an organization. Wait, Isn’t Privileged Identity Management == Password Vault? Nope. Centrally controlling shared access to non-human accounts and automating periodic password rotation for shared accounts reduces risk, no doubt. This is a critical component when minimizing your attack surface and will make it harder for hackers to get in to your environment (initial compromise) — it is a best practice. However,…

PWN2OWN 2017 Outcome: Implement Multi-factor Authentication & Least Privilege

Zero Day Initiative, a security research program that offers rewards for successful hacks, reported that on last day of their recent “PWN2OWN 2017” competition, a team of contestants pulled off an unique and challenging feat: they compromised a virtual machine and managed to “escape” to the host system running the virtualization software.  The hack involved three distinct and challenging tasks: Compromising Microsoft’s Edge Browser Compromising the Guest Operating System (running Windows 10) Compromising the VMware Workstation virtualization software And this was all accomplished through a controlled website. Although this may not be the first time each individual layer was compromised, this…

What is Adaptive Authentication?

Adaptive Authentication: Why Should You Care? Before going into what adaptive authentication is I want to answer why you should care first. In today’s IT world, relying on a simple username and password authentication is not enough to protect critical business data and systems against the growing number of sophisticated cyber attacks. Just do a quick search online or have a look at one of my previous blogs, “How Much Does It Cost to Protect an Organization from Cybercrime?” to get an idea of how expensive a hack can be and how sophisticated attacks have become. That ever-growing number of…

It’s About Time (For Compliance with PCI DSS 3.2) — Are You Ready?

2017 hit the ground running in a fast and furious way, for obvious reasons. But wait a second — it’s suddenly March?!? Events and deadlines that seemed far into the future are suddenly right around the corner, with less time than you thought to cover everything in that intricate plan. Oh, if only time machines really did exist. One critical deadline on the near horizon applies to businesses who work with payment cards — merchants, financial institutions, point-of-sale vendors and developers who create and operate infrastructure that processes payments. And every one of those businesses needs to pay attention to…

New Trend in the Security Space: Customers Want Vendor Consolidation and a Platform Approach

Starting late last year, I kept on hearing a growing drumbeat from customers that they were highly interested in consolidating the breadth of security vendors and products that they use internally to secure their enterprise. In past years, the talk by customers regarding “vendor consolidation” typically had been more in terms of the purchasing process and not having to deal with getting contracts and negotiating with yet another vendor. This time it was different — it has become clear to customers that having disjointed point solutions leave significant air gaps with regard to securing their enterprise, and that customers are…

Top 3 Takeaways from the 2017 RSA Conference

Last week was the 2017 RSA Conference in San Francisco. Having attended, I can report that the number of vendors at the conference was nothing short of mind-boggling. While there are many challenges facing the security industry, there are also a lot of innovative ideas about how to respond to them. Here are my top takeaways from the conference: #1 Organizations Should Consolidate Security Vendors While it was great to see so many vendors at RSA, it was also indicative of just how many point security tools are on the market today — many of which provide very specific solutions…

Federated Identity Management vs. SSO

Last time I wrote about how much it costs to protect yourself, so I want to follow up  with another topic that hits close to home: your wallet. Federated identity management (FIM) and single sign-on (SSO) are not synonymous — FIM gives you SSO, but SSO does not give you FIM. That minor detail is very important to understand, as you make the leap to the cloud and adopt more SaaS applications. While you will have some initial startup cost with FIM by building out an identity service provider (IDP), it is cheaper in the long run than using simple SSO with FIM….

Ponemon 2017 Report: The Need for a New IT Security Architecture

It’s annual cybersecurity reporting season and first up in 2017 is the Ponemon Global Study, “The Need for a New IT Security Architecture” sponsored by Citrix. The study reveals global trends in IT security risks and reasons why security practices and policies need to evolve in order to deal with threats from disruptive technologies, cybercrime and compliance. Changes in the workplace and problems managing IT security are also increasing risks to the organization. This report surveyed more than 4000 global IT and security practitioners and discusses the findings that concern risks created by cybercrime, employee negligence and organizational dysfunction and…

RSA: Centrify Survey Reveals Almost Half of Respondents Lack Confidence in Their Company’s Cybersecurity Strategies

Yesterday, we conducted an onsite survey of IT professionals attending the RSA Conference, being held this week at Moscone Center, San Francisco. The poll asked respondents how their companies secure applications and infrastructures in the age of access, and it revealed that only slightly more than half (55%) believe their company’s current technology investment ensures their company’s cybersecurity. This leaves about half of respondents with a lack of confidence in their own organization’s corporate security! While this fact is startling, it shouldn’t be too surprising, since a recent Forrester study, commissioned by Centrify, confirms that in the past two years, two-thirds…